Glamp­ing ain’t the way to do it

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Un­less your valet is read­ing this to you, you’ve prob­a­bly never heard of “ glamp­ing.”

Me nei­ther, un­til my valet read a story to me about it that ap­peared in USA To­day. “ Glamp­ing” is short­hand for glam­orous camp­ing — a trend that is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar among the wealthy elite.

Ac­cord­ing to an­other story in the Los An­ge­les Times on the sub­ject, glamp­ing “ is on the rise in North Amer­ica af­ter gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among wealthy trav­el­ers in Africa and Eng­land, where lux­ury tents come with Per­sian rugs and elec­tric­ity to power blow dry­ers.”

The L. A. Times story de­scribes what con­sti­tutes glamp­ing at the The Re­sort of Paws Up, a 37,000- acre spread in Mon­tana. The cost is $ 595 a night, plus an ad­di­tional $ 110 per per­son per day for food. The perks “ in­clude a camp but­ler to build their fire, a maid to crank up the heated down com­forter at night­fall and a cook to whip up bi­son rib­eye

“‘Glamp­ing’ is short­hand for glam­orous camp­ing — a trend that is be­com-

ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar among the

wealthy elite.”

for din­ner and French toast topped with huck­le­ber­ries for break­fast.”

And if you can’t en­dure the el­e­ments in your tent with Per­sian car­pets and down du­vets, you can al­ways up­grade to a lux­ury moun­tain home for $ 3,460 a night.

Ac­cord­ing to the story, a na­ture hike in­cludes Dug­gan, the but­ler ( why aren’t there any but­lers named Steve or Jerry?), send­ing a scout to round up some elk so guests can drive up and look at them.

An­other glamp­ing hotspot, Clay­oquot Wilder­ness Re­sort in Bri­tish Columbia, boasts of the same type of rus­tic ameni­ties — at $ 4,100 a per­son for a three- day pack­age.

Stat­ing the ob­vi­ous, Paws Up Gen­eral Man­ager Terre Short is quoted as say­ing that guests “ only sorta kinda want to rough it.”

I ex­pect he’ll get fired for say­ing “ sorta kinda” – un­less it’s Ital­ian for “ gra­ciously.”

Call me poor, but I don’t un­der­stand this “ glamp­ing.” If you want a gourmet meal pre­pared by a chef named An­toine, go to the Ritz. If you want to sleep in a fancy bed and be tucked in by a ser­vant, why even pre­tend you’re camp­ing? You’re not. The whole fun of camp­ing — and this is what th­ese glam­pers don’t un­der­stand — is that it’s not like home, or a five- star ho­tel. Call­ing that camp­ing is akin to my say­ing I’m go­ing fish­ing by check­ing into a Hol­i­day Inn and stick­ing my fish­ing pole in the bath­tub. Yes, tech­ni­cally, I’m fish­ing, but it’s not the gen­uine ex­pe­ri­ence.

I hate to ad­mit it, but I’ve eaten at some gourmet restau­rants. Yet the best break­fast that’s ever crossed my lips was pre­pared in a dirty fry­ing pan over an open fire on the edge of the Ala­paha River dur­ing a camp­ing week­end years ago. And see­ing wildlife not brought to us, bait­ing our own hooks, cook­ing our own food, and sleep­ing among the bugs and crit­ters on a soft sleep­ing bag on a hard sur­face cost me a to­tal of about $ 17.

And the chef’s name wasn’t An­toine ei­ther. It was Stan.

God bless ’ em — they don’t know what they’re miss­ing.

Len Rob­bins


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